Designer Taania Wesselius was born in the Netherlands but spent the majority of her childhood in New Zealand. She also spent three years in the UK, and a year in Canada on a school exchange. Her fashion inspiration, however, came from her Nana. “She taught me that no matter who you are or where you come from, take pride in the way you look, embrace who you are and what you love, and fight hard to keep it.”
Developing her passion at Massey University in Wellington, she graduated with a Bachelor of Design with an Honours in Fashion Design.
The significance of the name, AANIA, tells a story of Wesselius’ fashion background, and the way in which she would like to progress in the future. “In Urdu, AANIA means towards, direction and concern, from which I interpret the relationship between my conflict of wanting to do good by the environment but to also pursue my dreams in fashion. Also meaning mirror, AANIA signifies the importance of truth and reflection.” AANIA looks to find ways in which designs can be created using minimal waste while creating something that makes the wearer feel empowered. “After meeting Holly McQuillan, an astounding lecturer and zero waste designer at Massey, it really opened my eyes to this way of thinking. While not all the pieces in my collection use zero and minimal waste techniques, I am driven by the collaboration of aesthetic and waste conscious design.” She hopes to be able to introduce more 100 percent organic pieces each season with a focus on longevity and versatility.